The value of ASCAT soil moisture and MODIS snow cover data for calibrating a conceptual hydrologic model

Tong, Rui; Parajka, Juraj; Salentinig, Andreas; Pfeil, Isabella; Komma, Jürgen; Széles, Borbála; Kubáň, Martin; Valent, Peter; Vreugdenhil, Mariette; Wagner, Wolfgang; Blöschl, Günter

Recent advances in soil moisture remote sensing have produced satellite data sets with improved soil moisture mapping under vegetation and with higher spatial and temporal resolutions. In this study, we evaluate the potential of a new, experimental version of the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) soil water index data set for multiple objective calibrations of a conceptual hydrologic model. The analysis is performed in 213 catchments in Austria for the period 2000–2014. An HBV (Hydrologiska Byråns Vattenbalansavdelning)-type hydrologic model is calibrated based on runoff data, ASCAT soil moisture data, and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow cover data for various calibration variants. Results show that the inclusion of soil moisture data in the calibration mainly improves the soil moisture simulations, the inclusion of snow data mainly improves the snow simulations, and the inclusion of both of them improves both soil moisture and snow simulations to almost the same extent. The snow data are more efficient at improving snow simulations than the soil moisture data are at improving soil moisture simulations. The improvements of both runoff and soil moisture model efficiencies are larger in low elevation and agricultural catchments than in others. The calibrated snow-related parameters are strongly affected by including snow data and, to a lesser extent, by soil moisture data. In contrast, the soil-related parameters are only affected by the inclusion of soil moisture data. The results indicate that the use of multiple remote sensing products in hydrological modeling can improve the representation of hydrological fluxes and prediction of runoff hydrographs at the catchment scale.



Tong, Rui / Parajka, Juraj / Salentinig, Andreas / et al: The value of ASCAT soil moisture and MODIS snow cover data for calibrating a conceptual hydrologic model. 2021. Copernicus Publications.


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